Horses

Forums
Riding In Fear
 By Saferaphus   •   29th Jan 2017   •   173 views   •   0 comments


Is it possible to both love something while being terrified of it? It doesn't sound like it should, but it can happen. Many people love horses but are afraid of them, or they love riding but are scared to get into the saddle. Many others have more specific fears. They may be happy and confident riding in a ring or arena, but break out in cold sweats at the thought of heading down the trail. Lots of people have bad show nerves, some to the point of losing their breakfast and other symptoms of an anxiety attack. Others would love to just be able to pet a horse, but when they get within armís reach, are simply terrified. Terrors around horse come in big and small sizes. But all can be conquered with some effort and some help.

The first step to getting confident around a horse to determine just what exactly scares you. Is it trail riding, picking up hooves, jumping ditches, or fear that the horse will spook? Or did you have a fall that ruined your confidence? This gives you a starting point. How youíll deal with fear from falling and getting hurt is going to be a bit different from dealing with being fearful of a horse because itís an intimidating large animal.

Youíll also want to get support. When people are afraid of flying, or have other fears, they often get a coach or counselor to help them through. No reason why you shouldnít do the same for your riding or horse fear. At very least, surround yourself with people who are supportive. Being told you are acting fearful because in your heart you really donít want to ride or be around horses is demoralizing and unproductive. This type of reasoning might work with someone who has a strong ďIíll show youĒ attitude. But it might destroy someone with less overall confidence. A good coach will know when to encourage and when to give a little push.

Knowledge is power. The more you know about how your horse thinks, is likely to react and how you can deal with those reactions, the more confidence you can build. Take lessons with a coach or instructor that will help increase your riding skills along with your confidence.

Riding or working with the right horse is also essential. Horses are emotional sponges. The combination of a nervous rider and nervous horses can create a lot of negative energy. Your skill level may be advanced enough that you are a very capable rider. But you may need to ride a quieter horse than you normally would until your confidence is back on track. This is where more advanced riders need to keep pride out of the way because sometimes moving forward means taking a step or two back. You might decide that the horse youíre afraid of isnít right for you. No shame in making a change if thatís what it takes to keep you in the saddle.

If your fear is situational, such as fear of hacking out or going over that ditch or wall, having someone along side you can really help. And, chunk the task down, just as you would for your horse. Ride outside the ring fence at first until that feels good. Then head out into the pasture. Then you can go a short piece down the trail. A series of small successes can be very confidence boosting.

If your fear has accelerated into a phobia, you might want to get professional help. Your riding fear may be linked to something else in your life that is going awry. Or, itís simply gotten beyond the point where a good riding coach is what you need. If youíre carrying a lot of fear, but are otherwise a capable rider, medication may be appropriate. This is something you'll want to discuss with your doctor.

There are alternative therapies for conquering fears as well. Herbal remedies such as 5-HTP, valerian or even a cup of chamomile tea might help. Educate yourself on the claims and dangers of using these types of remedies, especially if youíre taking any other medication. Emotional Freedom Technique is easy to learn and many people find it quite effective. You can find tons of tutorials on YouTube. Neurolinguistic Programming can help focus and calm the Ďbrain chatterí you can get when faced with an anxious moment.

And donít discount the power of positive thinking. Many athletes use visualization. Youíll see runners visualizing a race before they get into the starting blocks. Figure skaters envision their routines, partially acting it out before going on the ice. Theyíre not visualizing falling or tripping or missing a step. They are visualizing the perfect performance. When weíre riding scared, weíre not visualizing the perfect ride, but the worst ride. Picture yourself skillful and confident.

Overcoming a fear can be a lot of work. Go at your own pace. Work with people that support you and ride a horse you can enjoy without fear. Donít be afraid to try different things. There is no quick fix but, the results will be worth it.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Saferaphus
 More News by Saferaphus
Fake Horse News
18th Feb 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Seems like we are inundated with fake news these days. The good advice seems to be to check your sources and make sure you arenít reading satire, outright fake news, shoddy, biased reporting or rehashed urban legends. Itís not eas ...
Women Horse Jockeys
14th Feb 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
In most equine sports, there is a fairly equal number of men and women who compete. In fact, if you attend many horse shows, you may feel that there are far more women than men. In polo, jumping, dressage and most other sports, me ...
Tame That Mane
12th Feb 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
There is no way to completely change the type of mane your horse has. Proper feeding and grooming can make the most of what it does have, but that wonít make a thin mane thick, or a thick mane completely obedient. But, with some e ...
Protect Your Horse Against Illness and Disease
9th Feb 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
In the last few weeks, the Equine Disease Communication Center in the United States has been posting warnings about strangles, equine herpesvirus and Equine Infectious Anemia. Itís not possible to protect our horses completely fro ...
Saving the Marwari
6th Feb 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
At the apex of their history, itís said that there were enough of these horses to mount a calvary of 50,000. But, after the British came to India, other breeds were introduced and the Marwari became a victim of colonialism. Carele ...
Traditional Horse Festivals
4th Feb 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Cultural events celebrate traditions and customs, and in many places, the horse is the center of many customs. Here is a look at just a few horse cultural celebrations held around the world. ...
Equine Cushings Disease
2nd Feb 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Cushingís can be caused by two things. A horse may develop a non-cancerous tumor in the area of the pituitary gland that can affect the glandís function. Or, the neurons, the nerves that send messages, into the hypothalamus start ...
Where Horses Get Hurt
31st Jan 2017   |   General   |   Saferaphus
If you watch the news feeds like I do, youíll notice that one of the most common accidents people have with horses is along roadsides. Horses are usually legally allowed on roads - either ridden or driven. But, most people sharing ...
  View All News by Saferaphus
 
Active News Discussions
If Horses Were Feminists
12
comments
If Horses Were Feminists
Horse Show Riders Dismounted Based on Weight
6
comments
Horse Show Riders Dismounted Based on Weight
April 20th 2013 Showjumping Competition With Bronze
3
comments
April 20th 2013 Showjumping Competition With Bronze
Where Kill Buyers Get Horses
1
comments
Where Kill Buyers Get Horses
Is Eventing Really Too Dangerous
2
comments
Is Eventing Really Too Dangerous
My Horse is a #$@&%*!
6
comments
My Horse is a #$@&%*!
Horses Are Better Than Cats
1
comments
Horses Are Better Than Cats
Race Horses With the Longest Careers
1
comments
Race Horses With the Longest Careers
Swimming For Horses
2
comments
Swimming For Horses
My Horse is a #$@&%*!
6
comments
My Horse is a #$@&%*!
 
©2002 - 2017   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
402 Members Online 236,317 Registered Members 2,234 News Articles 8,761,760 Unique News Article Views 189,034,854 Website Views